Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why is Wal-Mart blocking 35 cents an hour for Bangladeshi workers?

Over 3.5 million mostly young women garment workers are trying to climb out of misery. With a new minimum wage of just 35 cents an hour, the workers could live with a modicum of dignity. Ask Wal-Mart to stop lobbying against a new minimum wage of 35 cents an hour forBangladesh's garment workers. They should be ashamed!

Please call Wal-Mart today.

Wal-Mart "Organic" Jeans Sell for just $8.00......Is that a great deal, or what? Imagine, women's "Faded Glory" relaxed-fit, flared blue jeans selling at Wal-Mart for just $8.00! (Full Story)

Source: National Labor Committee via APWU National Postal Press Association

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crucial Postal Bill Clears First Hurdle

APWU Web News Article 071-2010, July 22, 2010

Legislation to restore financial stability to the Postal Service cleared its first hurdle July 21 when the House postal oversight subcommittee approved H.R. 5746. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on July 15, would alter the methodology for allocating the Postal Service’s share of pension costs for employees whose careers spanned the former Post Office Department and the USPS.

“This is an important first step,” said Myke Reid, APWU Legislative and Political Director, “but we still have a long way to go.” The bill must be considered by the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee before it can be voted on in the House.  (Full Story)

Statement by Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President David Newby: Long-term Unemployed Workers Finally Get a Lifeline

(Milwaukee – July 22, 2010) Finally, the House and Senate have extended Unemployment Insurance benefits to workers who have been without a job for more than six months.

As outrageous as it may seem, Senate Republicans engaged in a filibuster to stop a vote on this bill; they are responsible for over two million unemployed workers being denied jobless benefits. These same Republican Senators have no problem with extending tax cuts to the very richest Americans, but somehow they don’t understand or don’t care about the basic needs that ordinary people have. Even with the extension, ordinary people are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage, buy food for their families, and pay for other necessities of life.

The Republican defense—that extending benefits to the unemployed will increase the deficit—is total nonsense. Unemployed workers who receive benefits spend every dime on essentials—which puts more money into the economy and helps businesses stay afloat without more layoffs. The immediate deficit we need to pay attention to is the deficit in family-supporting jobs. Once we get people back to work, they will pay taxes again and much of the current deficit can be eliminated.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

OSHA Launches New Whistleblower Protection Site

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that workers who blow the whistle on safety violations and other unlawful practices “play an important role in assuring compliance with federal laws.”
But, say workplace safety advocates, too many times workers don’t speak up about safety and health problems on the job because they fear retaliation from their employers, even though it’s illegal.
OSHA now has a new website specifically dedicated to its whistleblower protection program,  (Full Story)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finally, Financial Reform!

The following is a statement by national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
Today’s vote represents a historic shift of power—away from big bankers and CEOs to working families and Main Street. For years, big banks have profited on the backs of working families. Millions of working families lost their jobs and still can’t find work because of the reckless and selfish actions of Wall Street and the big banks.
After the financial meltdown brought on by Wall Street’s greed and irresponsibility, it would have been an outrage for the status quo to stand. Yet all but three Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against reforming our bloated and unaccountable financial sector.
Fortunately, President Obama and working family leaders in Congress stood firm to put our country back on track toward an economy that works for everyone. In the end, fifty-seven Democrats and three Republicans voted for this landmark legislation. This vote will make it a lot harder for big bankers to indulge their greed at the expense of working people.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will:
  • Create a strong consumer protection agency to protect working people from predatory lenders;
  • Shed light on the shadow markets by requiring most derivatives to clear and trade on open, transparent exchanges and mandating that large managers of hedge funds and private equity funds register with the Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • Give long term investors new tools to hold corporate boards and senior management accountable; and
  • Help prevent future bank bailouts by creating a council of regulators to oversee systemic risk, giving regulators authority to dissolve failing financial institutions while prohibiting bailouts for bank shareholders and executives
  • Move toward restoring of Glass Steagall by limiting banks ability to make risky bets backed by taxpayer funds.
We will continue to fight for reforms that will further address too big to fail financial institutions and make Wall Street pay its fair share to create the 8 million jobs it helped destroy.

As we look ahead to November, when voters will once again have the ability to stay on the path to change or look back to the failed policies of the past, this vote is a defining line in the sand. Working families will be dedicated to supporting leaders who vote to create jobs and hold Wall Street and big business accountable.

Voters now have a clear picture of those who stand on the side of Main Street and those who choose instead to stand on the side of Wall Street.

We will not forget.

Source: Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog

Union Urges Affected Workers To Complete NRP Questionnaire

APWU Web News Article 068-2010, July 15, 2010 
(07/15/10) To strengthen the fight against the Postal Service’s harsh National Reassessment Program (NRP), the APWU is encouraging limited-duty and permanent-rehabilitation employees to complete a questionnaire sponsored by a law firm that has filed a class-action complaint against the USPS. The complaint alleges that the NRP discriminates against disabled employees. The NRP, which was initiated nationwide in 2006, “is part of an aggressive campaign by the Postal Service to reduce costs by denying work to injured employees,” said APWU President William Burrus. “The union has fought the program every step of the way,” he said. [full story]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Postal Employees’ Relief Fund

PERF is a CFC funded agency; below is an example of how your annual CFC contributions do make a difference….

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS. The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund — jointly administered by USPS, its unions and management associations — gave more than $1.1 million to 207 employees throughout the country in 2009. Since it began in 1990, the fund has provided more than 3,000 grants totaling nearly $15 million to active and retired employees in need of humanitarian aid.